Tag Archives: Boston

Prehistoric Payphones in Boston


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Image result for City of Boston

Whenever I roam around Boston, I always stumble upon something truly eye-catching.  Some intriguing things I have seen include flashy billboards, artistic statues, a pop-up event, and other things of the sort.  Within the hustle and bustle of the city, there is always something amazing happening each day.  You have to really observe your surroundings in order to find things that would capture your attention.

Just this week, I randomly spotted something that caught my attention near Downtown Crossing.  A mere block away from the big Walgreens on Washington Street was something I haven’t seen in a long while – pay phones.

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I happened to spot not one, but THREE payphones nestled onto the sidewalk.  Each payphone was back-to-back within each other in working order.  Not only did they work, but there were free numbers to call for either a job search or a bank.

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Here we are in 2019 and payphones STILL exist around Boston.  Payphones are still around even as mobile technology continues to skyrocket in popularity.  It was rather odd to see three deserted payphones being bolted onto the sidewalk while thousands of people walk by using their smart phone.  Seeing these payphones was a step back into much simpler times.  You can see the shift of technological trends already changing in this scenario.

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It is easy to get caught up with what the world will offer next rather than what has already been created.  Walking past a payphone while using your mobile phone is a true sign of how much times have changed since the 20th century.  Surprisingly enough, people still use payphones during their time of need.

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The central point is this – when you lift up your head to observe the world around you, you stumble upon so many amazing things.  Through mindful observations, you are able to discover a small trinket of treasure right nearby.  It could be a payphone or a pop-up event or a newly constructed statue.  Any of these hidden things can be found once you see the world before you.

By looking up into the world, you may discover something you haven’t seen or used in merely years.

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‘Fab Five’ members Ship to Boston


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There has been a lot of great celebrity speaker events that have happened in Boston lately.  Some take place at a local college while others are held at major theaters.  Jordan Peterson, Christina Hoff Summers, Nell Scovell, John Cleese, and even Ken Burns are a few of many celebrities that came to Boston for speaker events.  Whether it be a Hollywood celebrity or politician, celebrities from all walks of life have come down to the great city of Boston.  It may not have a thriving entertainment life (like say, Los Angeles) but celebrities still stop by Boston for one of their tours.

As more trending figures pop up around mainstream media, Boston always does its best to incorporate them into the city for their local audiences.  This summer is looking to become real prideful as an infamous member of the Fab Five will be shipping up to Boston to talk about the release of his newest book.  Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s headline for a speaker series event is none other than Tan France.

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Image result for Queer Eye Fab Five

Tan France, a member of the Fab Five from Netflix’s Queer Eye, is coming to Boston this summer.  He will be speaking at the Back Bay Events Center to discuss his new book Naturally Tan: A Memoir.  The event will take place on June 6th at 7:30 PM.

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Naturally Tan: A Memoir showcases Tan’s early days as a gay man growing up in South Yorkshire, England with a South Asian/Muslim family.  Growing up, he was routinely bullied for his skin color as well as his culture.  Using humor, his trademark wit, and radical compassion, Tan shares his adventurous journey and the lessons he learned along the way.  He shares his routes he took that led him to become part of the Queer Eye gang as a positive, representative celebrity role models for audiences everywhere.

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Interestingly enough, Tan France isn’t the first Fab Five to be in Boston.  Jonathan Van Ness was in the Boston Museum of Science last Fall for his own tour as well.  He will be back in Boston at the Orpheum Theatre on November 8th.

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And there you have it – two of the amazing Fab Five from Queer Eye already will be stopping by Boston this year.  Boston may not have a strong LGBTQ presence as good as other cities (NYC, San Francisco), but it still keeps with the latest celebrity trends.  Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France are a few of many trending celebrities that keep coming back to Boston.

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These kinds of celebrity speaker events will do wonders for Boston’s brand as a city.  Boston has truly grown as a city entertainment-wise over the past few years.  Many landmark events in the political spectrum, whether they relate to the entertainment industry or not, have truly modified Boston to become the way it is now.

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With that, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France of the Fab Five will be heading to Boston this year.  You can catch Tan at Back Bay Events Center in June and Jonathan will be at the Orpheum Theatre in the fall.

HIGH-Quality Cannabis Job Growth


Image result for the great recession of 2008

Image result for the great recession of 2008

Over ten years ago was The Great Recession of 2008.  After the housing bubble started crashing, half of the United States was in a state of recession.  Thousands of citizens were found without a job, with very little work being created for the economy.  Work was hard to find around the areas, especially in small rural towns.

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What’s interesting to note is that recreational cannabis was barely in the spotlight within mainstream media we were in the recession.  It wasn’t until 2012 when recreational cannabis was made legal for both Colorado and Washington State.  What audiences in Colorado and Washington State didn’t realize was that they weren’t just ON something; rather, they were on TO something.

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Image result for Cannabis Leaf

Cannabis has become America’s fastest-growing job sector in the nation.  Over 200,000 full-time jobs have been created since recreational cannabis began, with 3,000 jobs being created within the state of Massachusetts.  As recreational cannabis becomes full swing in many states, a whole slew of jobs is being created in those areas.  Better yet, a new industry is starting to flourish in the country as well.  Colorado and Washington State were the true pioneers of the new ‘Green Rush’ happening with the cannabis industry.

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More than ten years after the recession, the job market has been flourishing faster than ever.  Cannabis-related jobs are booming, with more work being created next year.  The need for more employees in the cannabis industry is rising even HIGHER than it was before (pun intended!).

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Image result for Cannabis Demonized

Who knew that cannabis, the very plant we once demonized during the Great Recession, would be sparking hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country?  Growers, trimmers, bud tenders, managers, and other cannabis employers are helping to recover the job market that was once damaged over ten years ago.  Cannabis isn’t doing good for audiences nationwide – it is also rejuvenating a dying job market that was heavily hurt from the economic crash.

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Taking the job market to pot (LITERALLY!) helped make it grow even further among the nations.  Cities and rural towns alike are finding many economic benefits of including the cannabis industry into their community.

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With that, cannabis jobs have been flourishing here in America.  Over ten years since the job market started plunging, cannabis has helped to push for further job growth in the country.  All sorts of jobs within cannabis industry are being created, both in cities and towns alike.

We will only see more job growth during the 21st century Green Rush.

Captive Markets – High Prices, High Experience


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Image result for TD Garden

That Bruins game three weeks ago made me ponder about some things.  For one thing, I was hoping that the Bruins are doing well this season (GO BRUINS!).  The other was the shocking increase of food and drink prices showcased on the menus.  I have not caught a Celtics or Bruins game in the TD Garden in a long while, so it was amazing to see how modernized everything looked.  What I wasn’t intrigued about were the ‘modern’ prices set around the area.

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For the record, it wasn’t just the alcohol that was up-scaled.  Burgers, pizza slices, hot dogs, chicken tenders, French fries, and even bags of peanuts were being sold at wildly outrageous prices.  I could purchase these items for half (even more) the prices at other places in Boston.

It wasn’t until a week later that I discovered a term that made all this complete sense to me.  What was going on at the time was simply known as a captive market.

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Captive markets are markets where the consumer face a severely limited number of competitive suppliers.  Their only choices are to purchase what is available or make no purchase at all.  This marketing tactic provides higher prices and less diverse options for the consumer.

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Being that the consumer is captive within a designated area, he/she is forced to choose from what is available to them.  Even with the higher price ranges, the consumer will still make a purchase based on what is available.

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This term right here describes best as to what happened at the TD Garden earlier.  Because there were very limited options to choose from for food and drinks, I was forced to purchase what was available at the TD Garden.  You aren’t able to bring in any outside food or drinks with you since they sell products during the event.  Every type of business was in full swing when the Boston Bruins were playing the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Rather than dwelling on the outrageously high prices, I found this concept quite fascinating.  It’s a perfectly reasonable marketing tactic aimed for the consumer to get the most out of their experience.  Whether it is a sports game or a rock concert, captive markets are always happening to provide the best experience necessary.

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With that, captive markets were happening during the Boston Bruins game I attended a few weeks ago.  At this point, I can only be intrigued by this unique marketing concept.  It is always great to discuss another marketing concept here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

Captive markets may cause for higher prices, but you’ll get a much higher sporting experience in the long run.

Gourmet-Styled Food Science


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I had quite an eventful couple of days last week food-wise.  First, I grabbed some lunch at a restaurant/bar within the North Shore Mall and the day after I had some delicious dinner at a barcade place in Cambridge.  Being that I had a busier schedule than usual, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to dine out while I am at it.

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While the meals themselves were absolutely delicious, it was the bill it that became most shocking experience itself.  After tips, both of meals ended up totaling almost $30.  My jaw could not lift itself from the table after seeing the total price.

Here’s a quick peek at my total purchases:

Tuesday Lunch

1 Regular-Sized Beer – $7.00

Chicken Wings – $10.00

Parmesan Truffle Fries – $8.00

Total: $25.00

Wednesday Dinner

1 Bottled Beer – $8.00

Single Bacon Cheeseburger – $7.49

Side of Truffle Fries – $3.99

$5 of Tokens – $5.00

Total: $24.48

One look at the chart and you’ll notice the obvious expenses such as the up-scaled alcohol as well as $5 of tokens for video games.  But here’s where it gets interesting – the truffle and Parmesan-infused French fries were a unique expense on its own.

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Food itself has become more and more gourmet over the years.  A simple side dish like French fries has now become Parmesan truffle fries, which is French fries dipped in truffle and Parmesan.  More and more ingredients are being infused with our All-American comfort food.

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It’s not just French fries that have become gourmet.  Mac & Cheese is now being served as pasta infused with five different cheeses and bread crumbs.  A classic cheeseburger is being transformed into a grass-fed organic burger slapped with brioche-buttered buns, applewood sugar coated bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and ends with a homemade special sauce.

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Now here’s the thing – NONE of this is a bad thing whatsoever.  It doesn’t ring in as an alarm for a PR nightmare bubbling beneath the surface.  What we are seeing is food becoming more specialized as other unique ingredients become equipped in the dining experience.  Just like the ordinary French fries dipped in parmesan truffle mix, classic staples such as cheeseburgers and Mac & Cheese are getting modern makeovers.

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And those modern food makeovers are a part of why dining experiences cost even more money.  Millennials are dining out more than ever, yet that culinary experience is becoming more expensive.  Gourmet dishes such as five-cheese Mac & Cheese are absolutely delicious, but that taste comes with a hefty price.

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Food used to be simple – bread, water, heat, meat, vegetables, fruits, etc.  As time went on, more unique ingredients came into the mix.  That shift of ingredients created stand-out dishes for a greater dining experience.  It’s not so much about nit-picking a problem with this concept; but rather, observe the experience from a different angle.  This is when we get to the science of the whole idea, solving the mystery of the recent price increases.

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With that, gourmet-styled food is becoming all the rage around America.  If you are looking for cheaper prices, search for places that don’t serve food items with over a dozen ingredients.